It seems that the Kobo CEO showed off a slide that had a Kobo eReader prototype with a RIMM logo. That would certainly make Kindle vs Kobo much more interesting.
Not sure how this prime piece of information isn’t getting more coverage.
Kobo getting a RIMM BlackBerry eReader?
Quill and Quire report on additional details on the Kobo Reader disclosed at a recent conference -
[Via Sources] Serbinis confirmed that Indigo Books & Music will carry the device in Canada on a non-exclusive basis.
Additionally, he may have let slip the device’s manufacturer when he showed a slide of an e-reader prototype bearing the logo of Research In Motion, the Ontario-based creator and manufacturer of the BlackBerry smartphone.
It wouldn’t be a very big surprise if a company started by Canada’s biggest book store chain tied up with one of Canada’s biggest technology companies.
What do we know about the Kobo Reader?
The things we definitely know are -
- Kobo Reader will be out in 2010.
- There’ll be retail presence in US, Canada, UK, Europe, China, Australia, and more.
- Kobo Reader will support stores selling ePub books – provided they use Adobe DRM and not custom DRM.
- Kobo eBook Store will support eReaders that support ePub and Adobe DRM. In fact it already does.
For further details check my post comparing Kindle Vs Kobo on strategies and more.
The rumors -
- Kobo Reader will be out in Q2, 2010.
- It’ll be sub $200.
- It’s made by RIMM.
It’s worth noting that Kobo’s CEO, RIMM, and the conference organizers have refused to confirm or deny claims.
Kindle vs Kobo – Is a RIMM powered Kobo Reader a big threat?
In our previous Kindle vs Kobo comparison we’d found -
- Kindle has sizeable advantages including a lead, large customer base, wider range of books, better prices, better cloud and web infrastructure, and more trust.
- Kobo is fighting back by having international retail presence, going with ePub, and selling to other eReaders including Nook and Sony.
The Kindle had the clear lead and Kobo was more of a borderline threat.
RIMM backing Kobo makes it a real threat.
A RIMM Blackberry branded eReader would improve Kobo’s chances a lot
There are some things RIMM brings to the table that are invaluable -
- Its brand and the trust customers have in it.
- Expertise in building mobile devices.
- Expertise in running services for mobile devices.
- All the years and iterations of improving mobile software and hardware.
If RIMM really is building the Kobo Reader it will be a very, very dangerous device.
Closing Thought – Kindle vs Apple vs RIMM
This previous Christmas Amazon was competing with Sony and B&N and neither could get the supply chain figured out. B&N couldn’t even get their software tested in time.
Next month Apple will target the eReader market, albeit with a non-dedicated eReader. A month or two after that we might see a Kobo eReader created by RIMM enter the market - Kindle vs Kobo would morph into Kindle vs RIMM.
Amazon are suddenly playing with the very best in the business.